|Address||Arenaring 1, Gelsenkirchen, Germany|
|Club||FC Schalke 04|
|Architect||Hentrich, Petschnigg und Partner|
|Average Attendance||61,297 (Season 2017 – 2018)|
|Record Attendance||77,803 (2010 IIHF World Championship)|
|Stadium Cost||€191 million|
|Who is the owner of Veltins-Arena?||FC Schalke 04|
|Pitch Size||105m by 68m|
|Where is Veltins-Arena located?||51°33’9.72″N7°04’1.99″E|
It took three years to build the new arena that became a new home stadium for FC Schalke 04. Opened in 2001, it was initially known as Arena AufSchalke. However, the name was replaced by Veltins-Arena due to Veltins sponsorship that actually helped to complete the construction works. The newly-established stadium replaced the older one – Parkstadion. It became the first ever privately-financed and owned arena in Germany.
In other words, Veltins-Arena opening resulted in a new trend when a football club owns its stadium. Even today, it looks very modern and stylish. It boasts of various facilities hosting not only the football team from Gelsenkirchen but also local ice hockey team, plenty of entertainment venues, etc.
The arena features a typical structure for many of the European football stadiums. It consists of four main stands. They include:
- Victoria Stand with seats for press and special guests;
- Erdgas Stand for away supporters;
- Ost Stand featuring premium and VIP seats;
- Veltins Stand – the home of local supporters.
The shape of the bowl combined with continuous seating tiers make it fast and simple to get to your seat even if you visit the arena for the first time. The stadium has up to 91 special facilities and boxes, numerous WCs, food courts, facilities for disabled, etc. In other words, Veltins-Arena is a modern European playground that offers everything you may need during the match.
Schalke 04 stadium includes terrace areas with standing seats as well as posh areas for those who require 100% convenience. StubHub makes it easy to pick and buy tickets pretty much at any tribune for any match.
Standing grounds are for the most active supporters. Those seats are usually the cheapest ones. If you crave for more comfort, seating area tickets will be a bit more expensive. The ticket price will depend on the stand you are going to settle. The cost range is as follows:
- Veltins and Erdgas Stands cost from €15.50 (standing areas);
- Veltins and Erdgas Stands cost from €26 (seating areas);
- VIP and Premium seats cost from €52.00.
Please, keep in mind that ticket prices may be different. They depend on various factors. International games are more expensive, while tickets for the home league games are cheaper. At the same time, you should note that the stadium capacity for the international tournaments can be reduced down to 54,740. Make sure you book seats in advance using the above-mentioned online service.
Located in a not very busy region of Gelsenkirchen, Veltins-Arena does not offer plenty of accommodation options for visitors. That is where Booking.com will appear to be rather helpful. Book a hotel in advance instead of wasting your time during the matchday. You can choose from quite a few offers that will meet any budget. I decided to save your time and made in-depth research of the area around the stadium. Here are some of the best accommodation options to select from:
- Monteurwohnung Gelsenkirchen – is a good choice if you are not afraid of walking about 20 minutes to get to the arena. For only $81, you actually get a fully-customised unit featuring a small kitchen, a bathroom and all other facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. It is yet the cheapest offer near Veltins-Arena.
- Schloss Berge – once you get to the hotel, you’ll feel like you are in a traditional German village. The hotel is surrounded by green area in addition to a huge pond. It’s a good place to have a walk after the match and breathe in the fresh air. The rooms are very stylish and well decorated. One night in a double room will cost you $173.
- Courtyard by Marriott Gelsenkirchen – is the nearest hotel to Veltins-Arena. You will hardly find a better location if you visit the city to watch Schalke’s home game. The hotel boasts with a spa centre, in addition to an indoor pool and restaurant. Guests can benefit from a sauna, steam rooms and other awesome facilities. The price $133/night looks like a good value considering the fact it also includes a superb breakfast.
- Arena Hotel – is another hotel that boasts the closest location to Arena AufSchalke. It will take you several minutes to walk to the stadium while passing through the green recreation area. The hotel itself offers huge rooms featuring spacious bathrooms made of environmentally-friendly materials. You will have to spend $104 for one night at this hotel.
How to get to
The stadium hardly boasts a good location from the transport perspective. It is situated in the northern part of Gelsenkirchen with only a few ways to get to the football ground. At the same time, it would be wrong to say that Gelsenkirchen has a poor public transport network. You can always rely on buses and trams during your trips within the city. Also, Gelsenkirchen is located not far from Dusseldorf international airport, which is very convenient for the fans coming from abroad. Moreover, it has the railway station that accepts trains from all around Europe. While your path to the stadium might turn into a challenge, getting to the city will not become a problem at all.
By Bus – taking a bus is hardly the best idea. There are no bus routes that will take you directly to the stadium.
By Tram – a tram is the only way to get to the arena using public transport. You should take tram #302. It departs from the main railway station Hauptbahnhof. Make sure you choose the right direction. It will take you about 15 minutes to get to Veltins-Arena from the station. So, be ready to get off on time.
By Taxi – it seems to be a good way out considering the lack of public transport. The prices are pretty affordable. For instance, a ride from the city centre to the stadium will cost you about €15.
By Car – the arena is located between two major autobahns. They include the A2 and A42 highways. If you need to get to the arena, you need to follow exits 6 or 7 respectively. Make sure you get to the destination in advance, considering a limited number of parking places around the stadium.
By Train – Hauptbahnhof is the city’s central railway station. From there you can take the Light Rail that will take you almost to the pitch.
By Plane – Gelsenkirchen is situated about 45-minute drive from Dusseldorf International Airport.
After arriving at Veltins-Arena, you can find it pretty difficult to spot free parking for your car. However, there is always a solution. The approximate matchday paid parking price near the sports venue in Gelsenkirchen is €5.
Eating out nearby
Located in what we call a desolate area, Veltins-Arena does not offer plenty of eating out opportunities. Most of the cafes and restaurants are located in downtown. However, it does not mean you will have to starve. Visitors can find some cosy cafes as well as a couple of pubs to try local beers, snacks, and specialities. Here are some of the best options near the stadium.
Pubs, bars & cafes
- Cafe Del Sol Gelsenkirchen – is a great family café right near the stadium. It serves huge portions of local foods, in addition to a variety of wines and beers. The venue boasts an outdoor terrace with a great view.
- Charly’s Schalker – the spot is the home for local supporters. If you crave for a great atmosphere before the match featuring hundreds of Schalke lovers, this venue is the best bet considering its selection of fast food options, beer snacks, and the beer itself, of course. Note that the place can be overcrowded especially on the matchday.
- Coffee Fellows – is a great coffeehouse for the most dedicated coffee fans. It serves a selection of blends brought by local breweries. You can choose from a selection of cakes and pastries at a reasonable price. It is a good place for the whole family.
- Cafe Extrablatt – features great interior, low prices, huge burgers, and creative salads. This venue is a #1 choice among the city’s guests and locals. Check the menu and choose from a selection of seasonal meals in addition to local burgers, beers, and wines.
- ALEX Mülheim – is the venue which looks really posh inside. It boasts an exclusive interior in addition to a rich menu. The local chef serves traditional German cuisine and some customised meals to meet the expectation of the foreign guests. Try any of the enormous burgers or local pasta options.
Things to see at the stadium
Would you like to learn more about Schalke’s multi-functional venue? Veltins-Arena tours reveal some hidden stadium parts. It’s a unique chance to look behind the scenes of the entertainment area and media facilities and to learn lots of facts and fun stories from the history of the club and its stadium.
You will see not only traditional places like players’ dressing rooms and the tunnel but also have a chance to see how the press cube works. The guides will show you how the pitch can be removed. You will see the thrilling process of closing the stadium roof. General admission includes visiting Schalke 04 museum as well.
The prices are as follows:
- Exclusive Small Group €175 per group (up to 17 people).
- Groups of over 18 people – Adults €9, under 21s €5.
Additional €20 charge per group if a foreign language tour is desired.
Individuals/Families for a public Arena Tour:
- Adults €9.
- Under 21s €5.
Both individual and group tours are available most of the day.
The museum covers 600 square meters of Schalke 04 glorious past and present. Visitors can choose from different exhibitions. They include interactive tours featuring the latest technologies as well as the stand with exclusive souvenirs and artefacts. The museum was renovated in 2009 and keeps the club’s heritage for the next generations.
You can find numerous Schalke 04 official fan shops all over the city. There are at least 6 locations you can come across the store. Visitors can buy everything from souvenirs to official training kits, players’ jerseys and more.
Things to do in Gelsenkirchen
Gelsenkirchen is an industrial city, but it has plenty of attractions to offer. Despite the fact Schalke 04 is the major love and dedication for locals, the city has been an educational and service centre of the region since the 19th century. You may come across different monuments during your walk along its streets. There are lots of parks and green areas for recreation. Gelsenkirchen is popular for its shopping facilities as well. In any case, you will never get bored in this city.
You can explore Gelsenkirchen on your own or opt for a general sightseeing tour. It covers some of the major places of interest. It takes place every Sunday from 11 a.m. The price starts from €7.5 per child aged 6-14. Tourists over 16 should pay €18. The tour includes some of the most popular spots such as Nordsternpark, Schloss Horst, Schloss Berge and more great places.
Top 3 places to visit
Zoom Erlebniswelt – is a great choice for those who love nature and animals. The venue boasts an amazing landscape design and an overwhelming zoo. Here you can come across hypos, elks, rare birds and more. It is great entertainment for the whole family.
Alma-Park – is like Disneyland for adults. It is not just a theme park. It is a huge entertaining area with plenty of things to do. Try video games and interactive attractions like paintball, learn how to use an arrow and bow or enter the escape room with your friends.
Ruhr Museum – is the museum which tells the story of the mining industry that used to be the region’s major activity. It is a good chance to dig deeper into the past of the country and learn about the industrial side of Germany.